Background and Importance In recent years not just the novel therapeutic approaches, but the Coronavirus pandemic has also affected the therapy management of patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Beside these changes, the immunisation against COVID-19 has also been an issue and raised several questions from clinicians to patients.
Aim and Objectives Therefore, our aim was to find out the possible changes that patients were experiencing and the potential factors influencing their therapy.
Material and Methods Data was collected through structured personal interviews with a 33-item questionnaire licensed by the Regional Research Ethics Committee of the University of Pécs and review of the medical records from January until September in 2022. We used the data available in the ambulatory medical records and the itemised reporting interface of the National Health Insurance Fund. Drug interactions were analysed using UpToDate Lexicomp database.
Results 35 female patients (average age: 63.53 years ± 13.82) and 23 male patients (average age: 53.54 ± 12.96) received biological or targeted therapy for an average of 7.17 years ( ± 4.12), while the average patient activity index DAS28 was 3.15 ( ± 1.17) and BASDAI was 5.29 ( ± 5.52). 87.93% (51/58) of the patients have used non-medication health products, mainly vitamin C or D. 34.48% of the patients were confirmed with coronavirus infection during the pandemic, while the vaccination rate was 87.89%. 83.45% of the patients received at least one mRNA vaccine. In our patient group, the influenza vaccination rate was 36.21%, while only 5.21% of the patients had been vaccinated against Pneumococcus in six months previous to our survey. The total number of serious (category X and D) interactions were 216, in 135 cases a vaccine and in 58 cases a monoclonal antibody or targeted therapy was included as interacting pair.
Conclusion and Relevance Despite the growing number of new therapeutic approaches and vaccines, the screening methods for analysing potential drug interaction are lacking behind and the Summary of Product Characteristics are not suitable for comprehensive evaluations. The inclusion of these therapies and the optimisation in vaccination status in the medication review process and the understanding of immunological mechanism potentially influencing the therapy of patients is warranted.
Conflict of Interest No conflict of interest
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